How was it possible that almost all of the nearly 300,000 British and American troops who fell into German hands during World War II survived captivity in German POW camps and returned home almost as soon as the war ended?
In Confronting Captivity, Arieh J. Kochavi offers a behind-the-scenes look at the living conditions in Nazi camps and traces the actions the British and American governments took -- and didn't take -- to ensure the safety of their captured soldiers.
Concern in London and Washington about the safety of these POWs was mitigated by the recognition that the Nazi leadership tended to adhere to the Geneva Convention when it came to British and U.S. prisoners.
Following the invasion of Normandy, however, Allied apprehension over the safety of POWs turned into anxiety for their very lives. Yet Britain and the United States took the calculated risk of counting on a swift conclusion to the war as the Soviets approached Germany from the east.
Ultimately, Kochavi argues, it was more likely that the lives of British and American POWs were spared because of their race rather than any actions their governments took on their behalf.
About the Author
Arieh J. Kochavi is professor of modern history and chair of the history department at the University of Haifa. He is author of Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States, and Jewish Refugees, 1945-1948 and Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment.
"Kochavi's book is the topic's definitive work. . . . Kochavi's fine book fully illuminates the political aspects of the POW issue from the allied side. His treatment of German policies, while thoughtful, actually opens up a new area for fascinating research."
-- "Journal of Modern History"
|Part I. Facing the Challenge|
|1. Whitehall and British POWs||p. 9|
|2. Years of Long Captivity||p. 40|
|3. Washington and American POWs||p. 71|
|Part II. Repatriation|
|4. Exchanging Seriously Wounded and Sick POWs||p.105|
|5. Long-Term POWs Kept in Abeyance||p.148|
|Part III. The Final Stage of the War|
|6. Prisoners' Safety and the Collapse of Germany||p.171|
|7. Forced Marches||p.203|
|Part IV. Liberated by the Soviets|
|8. An Anglo-Soviet Bargain||p.225|
|9. A U.S.-Soviet Package Deal||p.255|
|Table of Contents provided by The University of North Carolina Press. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 382
Published: 1st June 2005
Dimensions (cm): 24.130 x 16.205 x 2.972
Weight (kg): 0.739